Since the first LGBTQ book for young adults—I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth The Trip, by John Donovan—was published just weeks before the Stonewall Riots in June 1969, the world of LGBTQ YA literature has grown slowly but surely. In the last decades of the 20th Century, that growth was practically non-existent at times, but recent years have seen an explosion of books with LGBTQ content for teens. For this year, as the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, we’ve rounded up fourteen of the best and most interesting, both new and old.
All Out: the no-longer-secret stories of queer teens throughout the ages edited by Saundra Mitchell
Take a journey through time and genres and discover a past where queer figures live, love and shape the world around them. Seventeen of the best young adult authors across the queer spectrum have come together to create a collection of beautifully written diverse historical fiction for teens.
Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
High school senior Tanner Scott has hidden his bisexuality since his family moved to Utah, but he falls hard for Sebastian, a Mormon mentoring students in a writing seminar Tanner's best friend convinced him to take.
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
When Paul falls hard for Noah, he thinks he has found his one true love, but when Noah walks out of his life, Paul has to find a way to get him back and make everything right once more.
The Disasters by M. K. England
Nax and a handful of other space Academy washouts are the only surviving pilots after the school is hijacked by terrorists, but in order to spread the truth about the attack, Nax and his fellow failures must execute a dangerous heist.
In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan
Despite his aversion to war, work, and most people (human or otherwise), teenaged Elliott, a human transported to a fantasy world where he attends a school for warriors and diplomatic advisers, finds that two unlikely ideas, friendship and world peace, may actually be possible.
Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
Alice’s last girlfriend broke up with her for being asexual. She swears off dating, but then she meets Takumi, and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for. With her summer taking an unexpected turn, Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth
In the early 1990s, when gay teenager Cameron Post rebels against her conservative Montana ranch town and her family decides she needs to change her ways, she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center.
Pulp by Robin Talley
In 1955, eighteen-year-old Janet Jones keeps the love she shares with her best friend Marie a secret. It’s not easy being gay in Washington, DC, in the age of McCarthyism, but when she discovers a series of books about women falling in love with other women, it awakens something in Janet. Sixty-two years later, Abby Zimet can’t stop thinking about her senior project and its subject—classic 1950s lesbian pulp fiction.
Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is…Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure is building up in Riley’s so-called “normal” life.
The ABC's of LGBT+ by Ashley Mardell
Shares in-depth definitions of LGBT+ terms, and offers personal anecdotes from LGBT+ people.
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
Shares insights into the teen transgender experience, tracing six individual's emotional and physical journey as it was shaped by family dynamics, living situations, and the transition each teen made during the personal journey.
The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Letters to their Younger Selves edited by Sarah Moon and James Lecesne
Collects letters from such famous contributors as Brian Selznick, Michael Cunningham, and Amy Bloom to offer hope and support in the face of prejudice.
Spinning by Tillie Walden
Tillie Walden's powerful graphic memoir captures what it's like to come of age, come out, and come to terms with leaving behind everything you used to know.
Top 250 LGBTQ books for teens : coming out, being out, and the search for community by Michael Cart and Christine A. Jenkins
A summary of the 250 best books for LGBTQ teens, written by experts on the subject and addressed to teen book buyers. Identifying titles that address the sensitive and important topics of coming out, being out, and the search for community, this catalog spotlights the best gay, lesbian, bi, transgender, and questioning books written for teens.
This is only a tiny selection of the LGBTQ books now available for teens. Be sure to check out our catalog and the many booklists available online to find more!